Considering growing participatory turns in regulatory scientific risk analysis, this paper compares how social scientists use participatory and analytical methods to understand risk perceptions and meet competing demands for representativeness and inclusiveness. Drawing on case studies of how three European risk agencies use participatory and analytic methods in the context of biotechnology, it confirms difficulties of analytic methods to shed light on perceptions when applied to unfamiliar topics. It also shows the potential of participatory in particular deliberative formats to engage affected populations in the risk analysis process, despite challenges in promoting inclusiveness. The cases call for the integration of methods, while remaining aware of the need to understand the mutual interplay in the constructions of risks and structural inequalities.
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Dendler, L., Morais, M., Hargart, J. N., Lourenço, J. S., Vrbos, D., Ortega, P., Sfugier Tollik, K., Alaveras, G., Gallani, B., Patel, M., Broomfield, L., & Renn, O. (2023). Participatory versus analytic approaches for understanding risk perceptions: a comparison of three case studies from the field of biotechnology. Journal of risk research, 1-17. doi:10.1080/13669877.2023.2197615.
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